The steaming crisis within the ruling party, APC, especially in Edo state, has reached an extraordinary boiling point with no end in sight.
Concerned stakeholders of the party in Edo, yesterday in a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, said that the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s “unforced losses” and waging of “endless unprovoked battles against Edo APC” may hurt the party’s chances in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Also, a faction of the party in Edo has taken on a former national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, urging him to stop acting as Governor Godwin Obaseki’s hireling.
The faction was responding to Oyegun’s claims that a reconciliation meeting was held where it was agreed that for the party to retain the state, its governorship ticket should be ceded to Governor Obaseki.
This is coming as many APC governorship aspirants desirous of stopping Obaseki from getting a second term have intensified horse-trading to present a consensus candidate against the incumbent at the APC primaries.
After what seemed like a ray of light in the APC crisis, the hornet’s nest was stirred on Wednesday when the Deputy National Chairman (North), Lawal Shuaibu, warned that the party risks disintegration, and losing the Edo and Ondo governorship polls, if the alleged arbitrariness and lawlessness of Oshiomhole were not checked.
Shuaibu, who faulted the inauguration of Waziri Bulama as the party’s Acting National Secretary by Oshiomhole queried his decision to personally constitute both the screening committees for the governorship and senatorial elections, as well as the final appeals committee, all in violation of the extant constitutional provisions of the party vesting the power in the National Executive Committee, NEC.
Why consensus must be built behind Obaseki – Oyegun
Odigie-Oyegun urged the APC to hand second term tickets to Governors Obaseki (Edo) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) in line with a recent peace deal or ensure free and fair primary elections in both states by unbiased party leaders.
In an advertorial, he said: “I welcome most warmly the news that Mr. President has firmly endorsed the agreement reached to settle the disruptive leadership crisis at the national level that was threatening the very existence of the All Progressives Congress.
The immediate relevant part of that agreement was that both the governors; Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki of Edo State and Mr. Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, of Ondo State, having performed creditably should be returned unless they do not so wish. This means that the party, in unity, should organize to support the return of both governors.”
Odigie-Oyegun hoped and prayed that a consensus could be built behind Governor Obaseki because “he has not offended any aspect of the APC’s constitution nor has he in any way brought the party to disrepute.
“He has performed in an exemplary manner. In his time, there has been peace and freedom for the ordinary Edo man and woman from harassment by official thugs.
“Through him, Edo State must prove that our democracy can only survive if we do not create a situation where an individual or a small group can make or unmake our governors or other elected officials at will.’’